VPN Servers and Wi-Fi technology
There is probably no person on the Earth (except for probably some nature-oriented tribes) that doesn’t know about the Internet. Many people may not really think of how it works, they just like surfing it, reading the news, chatting with their friends in messengers or writing some posts in forums. The possibilities that the Internet offers are numerous and various which is why it attracts more and more users.
Wi-Fi is the fastest growing wireless connectivity technology and there are definitely good reasons for that: it is fast, cheap and convenient. And it is everywhere. It especially suits those who lead a mobile lifestyle and want quick access to their favorite sites at any time. But it also plays an important role for people with other lifestyles because it makes their lives more convenient, efficient and fun. In addition, it allows them to be connected to their families, friends, colleagues and to the entire world.
Wi-Fi uses radio waves in the same way as your cell phone, TV or radio. It creates reliable high-speed connections between computers, printers and entertainment systems.
If you often go on business trips, Wi-Fi is definitely for you. Thanks to Wi-Fi technology, you can stay connected while on the go. Nowadays Wi-Fi is available in most airports around the globe. Sometimes you can even use it on board a plane. The technology allows travelers to stay connected on trains, busses and in cars. Wi-Fi works everywhere and is available all over the world.
Wi-Fi technology is also meant to make family life easier and more fun. The internet connection can be easily shared among family members. In addition to the internet connection, they can share documents, pictures, audio files, printers, etc. Besides, if their relatives live in another town or on another continent, Wi-Fi technology allows them to use voice or even video to keep in touch with their loved ones. And you will be able to get rid of all the tangled and unwieldy cables.
But when using a wireless connection you should always remember about your security. On a wired network, the connection is relatively secure because of the wires; on a wireless net, there is no such physical barrier against attacks. But if it is your home network you can quickly and easily set up security protection to reduce the chances of possible attacks from hackers willing to hijack your Internet connection and surf for free – or even worse, view the information you send.
The chance of being attacked is much higher if you use a public Wi-Fi hotspot. According to Jupiter Research, more than 20 per cent of the online population in the USA currently uses public Wi-Fi. The question is how many of those public hotspots are secured.
When you use an unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspot you send and receive all your traffic as readable plain text which can become available to people that are around you (if that is their aim). And then it is up to them as to how they will use the information they sniffed from your traffic.
Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN server) you will protect yourself by encrypting the transferred data and concealing your destination. Nobody will be able to intercept the information you are sending or receiving because all of your data will travel through a special, logical path created by VPN, which is called a “tunnel”. This means that your information enters the tunnel at one end and emerges, secure and unchanged, at the other end. Thus, you will not have to worry about security issues and the VPN will let you enjoy the time you spend surfing the Internet.
Security mechanisms of VPN
Authorisation – VPN connections are only created for users and routers that have been authorised. For Windows 2000, authorization of VPN connections is determined by dial-in properties on the user account and remote access policies. If a user or router is not authorised for such connections, the server will disable them.
Authentication – This is a vital security concern. Authentication takes place at two levels:
Machine-level authentication – when IPSec protocol is used for a VPN connection, machine-level authentication is performed through the exchange of machine certificates during the establishment of the IPSec connection.
User-level authentication – before data can be sent over the PPTP or L2TP tunnel, the user must be authenticated. This is done through the use of a PPP authentication method.
Data encryption – the protocols used to create VPN connections allow encrypted data to be sent over a network. Although it is possible to have a non-encrypted connection, this is not recommended. Note that data encryption for VPN connections does not provide end-to-end security (encryption), but only security between the client and the VPN server. In order to provide a secure end-to-end connection, especially via Wi-Fi, the IPSec protocol can be used once a VPN connection has been established.
Packet filtering – in order to enhance security of the VPN server, packet filtering must be configured so that the server only performs VPN routing. To this end, appropriate RRAS filters should be used (for Windows 2000) on the Internet interface of the VPN.
Network Security using VPN services
Each day hundreds of websites are being hacked due to the existing vulnerabilities. Afterwards so-called bug descriptions (bug is an error that produces an incorrect result and causes system to behave in unintended ways) are disclosed in BugTraq for public discussion. You’ve probably read such reports and might have noticed that each bug is classified in a particular way. Here are the main vulnerabilities and attack methods, information theft and other intrusion methods into your computer:
– computer memory security violation (buffer overflow, freezing)
– data entry verification error (code injection, cross-site scripting and etc.)
– SSL vulnerability and SSL hacking
– other methods, allowing and intruder to gain access to your confidential data
A solution to all of the above is to use modern VPN servers. Even if there is an access to confidential data, encryption methods with a considerable key length would render it useless to any unintended recipient.
Wi-Fi: Bonuses and Threats
Free Internet access has been gaining popularity around the world. But nevertheless Wi-Fi technology remains extremely insecure. Its encrypting and access sharing algorithms can be easily hacked. There are several main threats to the Internet security if accessed via Wi-Fi:
– personal data interception, when the user enters the hacked payment systems; teller terminals
– sniffing – data interception and internet-traffic analysis which leads to a loss of confidential data
– “man in the middle” method of data theft
VPN connection over Wi-Fi network in public places ensures a 100% security of your information.
When VPN is correctly set up and all the software is successfully installed, VPN connection can provide a high level of transmitted data encryption. These encryption technology together with a 1024 bt key make up the strongest security wall for any occasional eavesdropper.